Flutterby™! : What I did last night

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What I did last night

2003-05-20 16:14:44.686131+00 by Dan Lyke 10 comments

Attention: Effective immediately, Dan's Guardian Angel Services will no longer provide same day computer repair services, especially not for people who think it's a good idea to clean up their "C" drive. Work may be done on a "time available basis".

While the identity of those involved in such matters will be kept confidential, your experiences and computer use skills will be recounted in interface design meetings, where the insight Dan has gained from such mentoring will be promptly discounted because "that's not what the users want to do" and "it doesn't look pretty enough".

[ related topics: User Interface Dan's Life ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2003-05-20 18:54:09.011394+00 by: meuon

On the other side: Meuon's guardian angel service installed a modem in a friends computer last night (lightning fried her old one), had a pleasant evening, met 'Mom' and made her happy to have working 'net again. Having Mom happy helps me take daughter to Speleofest for 3-4 days camping and caving.. - But then.. I'm a picky guardian angel, this is a smart lady and could have done it herself, but it was more fun visiting. Sometimes it's a good thing, just pick your subjects better.

#Comment made: 2003-05-20 19:59:47.542196+00 by: topspin [edit history]

Dan or meuon in a red beret .... patrolling the grimy, ugly crevices of Windows boxes.... the DRAM duo.... er... uh... excuse me, I gotta be more careful about those mushrooms I pick on the trail.

#Comment made: 2003-05-20 20:26:42.683282+00 by: ebradway

I didn't realize those guys still existed!

It amazes me to this day how even experienced users go on about how their application is running slow so they need to defrag their hard drive - when the hard drive is a 40GB drive that's never been more than 5% full...

And I'm always getting requests to help clean out peoples' computers. It's generally not necessary. Of course if you are software packrat and you run Window$, you may have issues after a couple years. You'd think Microsoft would have fixed this after the experiences with the WinSock DLLs in Win31!

#Comment made: 2003-05-20 20:37:01.426182+00 by: Dan Lyke

In defense of the person doing the cleaning up, it was a computer with many layers of cruft. Not that she was short on resources at all, but it was Dylan's box at Coyote Grits[Wiki], and I'd never really gone through and sanitized it quite as thoroughly as I should have, so there were numerous half-installed games, various development crap and who knows what else. Still, we had a little chat about clean-up, as well as about backups (since I'd helped do some data archeology a while back, bringing back things from the '80s). Hopefully there'll be some more regular burning of CDs.

What it did bring up, and an experience today confirmed, is that I need to build a little "Linux on a business card CD" that can mount NTFS and VFAT. If I'd had that and thought to use it I could have fixed the box in place. Similarly, we've got a situation today where we've got a busted XP box in New York, and if the guy going there had one of those in his pocket we wouldn't be overnighting some spare stuff tonight.

#Comment made: 2003-05-21 06:20:53.510324+00 by: dws

I don't know if Knoppix (http://www.knoppix.org/) can handle NTFS, but it's fine with VFAT. I keep a Knoppix CD in my bag at all times now. In an emergency, it will probably serve to start a fire or send an S.O.S. to a passing plane.

#Comment made: 2003-05-24 04:13:39.165432+00 by: ebradway

I actually fear the eventual 'cleanup' of my ex-wife's computer. The hard drive is a drive copy image of a drive that has run pretty much every interation of DOS/Windows since DOS 5/Win30 using Upgrade disks each time. It's on Win98 right now...

Hmmmm... Sounds like an interesting experiment. Start with a Dos3 drive (20MB!) and upgrade all the way to WinXP (it'll take a couple drive swaps). Besure to upgrade Office each step of the way and install each release of DirectX just to make sure things are good and screwed. And change video cards twice for each iteration of Windows.

I'm seriously considering using DOS and MS Word4 for DOS next semester for writing papers. Boots and runs off a single 360K floppy with plenty of room for documents!

#Comment made: 2003-05-24 18:30:28.971745+00 by: Larry Burton

Knoppix handles NTFS just fine.

#Comment made: 2003-05-29 06:02:24.343559+00 by: Shawn

Writing as well as reading?

#Comment made: 2003-05-29 13:24:15.321011+00 by: Larry Burton

According to this, only read support. I downloaded the ISO and was playing with it on my laptop which has Windows XP and an NTFS file system. I saw that it read my C: drive just fine but come to think of it I never wrote anything to the harddrive. I played with it a little more on a desktop machine here at the house running W98 with VFAT. I did write to the hard drive there.

What really impressed me though was that it immediately recognized the wireless card on my notebook and grabbed an IP address from my router. I really like what I see so far.

#Comment made: 2003-06-01 07:37:11.862584+00 by: Shawn

Okay. I was just curious. The only Linux NTFS driver I know of is linux-ntfs and the stable release doesn't yet have write support. Was wondering if Knoppix maybe had something I wasn't aware of.